One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
by Ken Kesey
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Chief notices that whenever the staff congregates together for a meeting, there’s a green light that pours out of the room they’re in. Afterwards, there’s a green seepage that covers everything, which he has to clean off. He says you wouldn’t believe the poisons that ooze out of staff members’ skins. Because we are aware that Chief is mentally ill, we realize that his observations are not literal truths even though he sees it as a literal truth. Instead, he is observing a sort of spiritual residue that infects the entire ward because of the poisonous attitudes of the nurses and orderlies toward the patients. This further reinforces the idea that the asylum is not a place of healing, but of harming the patients.